The Scene: My car, 4:30pm on March 12th.
It had been a normal day at work and I had just picked up my daughter from preschool for our 30 minute commute home, I turned over the radio to KC’s 610 AM and anxiously waited to hear if the Chiefs had struck early in free agency. I was excited, like a kid at Christmas. We have Anthony Fasano, “great” I thought. We have Mike DeVito from the Jets, “solid move” was my reaction. Then came word that the Alex Smith deal was finalized AND that the Chiefs had committed a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract to Chase Daniel to be their back up QB. It was at this moment that the truth finally sunk in.
The Kansas City Chiefs really aren’t going to draft Geno Smith.
My body went numb. Turning my head so my 5 year old in the back seat couldn’t see I stared out at the open highway in front of me and let this truth wash over me. A single solitary tear running down my cheek.
Okay, so I’m being a LITTLE melodramatic.
While this might be a slight exaggeration of how things went down (we all know I looked online before I left to pick up my daughter to see if the Chiefs had signed anyone), it does paint the picture of my true feelings on the matter. I REALLY wanted the Chiefs to draft Geno Smith. Even after news of the Alex Smith trade broke and I publicly declared my Geno Smith to the Chiefs bandwagon dismantled I was secretly holding out hope that it still might happen. The “Geno to KC” fan club meetings were still being held at undisclosed secret locations, but once news of the Daniel deal broke the little piece of hope that burned inside me was eternally “snuffed out” (sorry, probably too melodramatic again).
I still think Geno will be a franchise QB. I still think that the Chiefs would have been better off in the long run (maybe not next year) with Geno and their 2nd round draft pick then with Alex Smith, but it’s time to move on. I’m now focused on how my beloved Chiefs can best succeed going forward with Alex Smith as their starting QB. Amazingly, I believe the answer does involve Geno Smith being drafted with the #1 pick, just not by the Chiefs.
I completely understand Patrick Allen’s position he laid out so well (check it out HERE if you haven’t read it yet) regarding the Chiefs taking Geno, but it’s time to move on. The comments section and entire Chiefs blogosphere still contains people with their hopes up that Geno will be in KC next year. It’s not happening. I’m not trying to be a downer here. I LOVE Geno Smith. I spent the better part of 2 weeks making a 14 minute video breaking down why he should go #1. Alex Smith didn’t put the nail in the coffin, but the Daniel signing did. If KC was remotely considering Geno or any other QB in the first couple rounds, there’s no reason to pay Chase Daniel what they are paying him next year. Remember, this is a team that watched Geno’s tape, watched him throw at the combine, talked to him face to face, and then went straight home to KC and traded for Alex Smith. They don’t want Geno. I’ve accepted it, and so should you.
It’s okay though, I still think Geno can help KC build a playoff team.
I’m now convinced more than ever before that Geno Smith will be the #1 pick in this year’s draft. It just won’t be Kansas City that selects him. I now feel confident that the Chiefs will be able to trade out of the top pick so that another team can move up and take Geno.
I’ve been on the Geno bandwagon for months. Not because of internet hype, but because I took the time to watch every snap of him that I could find and felt that he had “star QB” upside. I watched the good games and the bad and my thought was that even though Geno was inconsistent, he possessed the talent to be elite if he received good coaching and time to develop. My view was not shared by most draft “experts”. As recently as the NFL combine Mike Mayock said that he’d give Geno a late first round grade.
Then he went out and threw some passes at his pro day, indoors, in shorts, with no defense, no rush, to WRs he’s thrown to for years, with months of practice on those exact throws and routes, and now everybody loves him.
I find that hilarious.
Everyone says it’s a player’s game tape that matters most, not workouts, and then after a pro day they bump him up from a late first round prospect to a sure fire top ten pick (I’m looking at you Mayock). I may be 100% wrong about Geno Smith, but at least my opinion was formed from watching his games not some staged performance that doesn’t translate to NFL games. Now suddenly Geno is the hot name. The Jaguars sent their entire front office to go watch him, the Eagles gave him a major work over at a personal work out. The Cardinals need a QB and let’s not forget about the Buffalo Bills (more on them in a minute).
There is no FA starting QB market for teams to turn to. There isn’t anyone available that is going to improve a team at QB, even if your starter is Blaine Gabbert, Mark Sanchez, John Skelton, or Tavaris Jackson. That’s how bad things are out there. QB is everything in this league and there are multiple teams out there that are significantly worse at QB than the Chiefs are now. That gives KC great leverage.
I know many of you want Geno Smith. So do I. I know many of you think we’d be better off with Geno over Alex Smith. I agree. John Dorsey and Andy Reid don’t. So instead of spending the next month hoping for something that isn’t happening I’ve turned my attention to the much more likely scenario which is one of these teams that are starved for a QB trading up to get Geno. Just a few weeks ago this was very unlikely. All the experts said he wasn’t worth it. Now Geno is a top ten pick and the clear best QB in the draft. A quarterback that is a sure fire top ten pick and clearly the best QB in his draft class is a valuable commodity. A commodity that someone will value enough to make a deal with KC for. Now, KC may not get the return that others have for the pick, but they can still get themselves a pretty good haul.
This is where the Buffalo Bills come in. In my opinion, Bills GM Buddy Nix is not a very smart man. The same GM that gave Ryan Fitzpatrick a FAT long term contract and drastically overpaid for Mario Williams made public comments earlier in the season about the Bills needing to get a franchise QB (despite the fact that HE paid Fitzpatrick like a franchise QB just a couple years ago) in the draft. Then he managed to get tricked into calling the Bucs GM and was recorded doing it. He basically told everyone in the world that Fitzpatrick wasn’t going to be his starter going forward. He also basically said that finding a QB was the key to their success going forward. Immediately after this recording went public the Bills cut Fitzpatrick. So now the Bills sit at pick #8 in the draft with no starting caliber QB on their roster, an intentional public statement that they would draft a franchise QB on record, an unintentional statement about them needing a QB this offseason because their (then) current QB wasn’t good enough on record, and no hope that the one QB seen as a possible franchise QB will still be there when they pick.
The Bills have their backs against the wall. The fact that the teams picking in slots 2-4 are all showing interest in Geno helps KC’s cause. If the Bills want Geno there is no way that they can hope he falls to them now and since one of the other teams that may be interested is the Jags at #2, the Bills will have to go all the way to #1 in order to land him for sure. We all know that QBs are over drafted and this year will be no exception.
So what do I think KC can get from KC?
I think the minimum return is Buffalo’s first and second round picks this year AND their first round pick next year.
I know what some of you are going to say “Nobody is giving that up for the first pick this year!” Really? The Falcons gave up more than that to move up to #5 to take a WR. The Redskins gave up THREE first round picks and change to get RG3. The Bills could still claim that they got their franchise QB at a discount compared to what other teams have and would have had to pay in other drafts. Plus, the Bills will be at a disadvantage in dealing for the first pick compared to teams like Jax and Philly who draft in front of them. Therefore, they will be forced to offer more than those teams if they want their man.
Let the record state that I am on record as stating that Geno Smith will be drafted #1 overall by the Buffalo Bills. Write it down.
Geno Smith has always been my plan when it came to the Chiefs and the 2013 draft. I’ve just had to change that plan given where things stand now. Geno Smith is not going to be a Kansas City Chief, but he is still the key to the Chiefs’ draft. I just hope KC fans can all come to terms with that.
I finally have.
As always, thanks for reading and GO CHIEFS!!!!!!!!!!!!